Monday, 27 August 2012

Tunnel Visions and Minotaur Dreams

These first two are small oil studies,
exploratory paintings in a new series
called "Tunnel Visions",
hinting at the preciousness of sight,
again exploring boundaries between landscape,
aerial perspective techniques and abstraction.

As James Elkins has described so beautifully in "What Painting Is",
oil paint actively encourages this kind of thing -
a sense of depth and the wallowing in atmospheric effects!

Largely the marks are made with the thumb and fingertips
and occasionally rags.
Painting medium or solvent dissolves and blurs edges and allows for subtle skeins of pigment to criss cross one another and blend.

In the above example, alizarin crimson makes a dramatic note
which could possibly be seen as jarring, but that's the point
really - experimentation.

Below, sap green, white and raw umber are applied more
loosely, but with a similar end in view; that of suggesting a heavily
circumscribed glimpse upon some new realm.

Minotaur Dreams...

Above are two from the "Minotaur Dreams" series,
where similar techniques are used with warm raw burnt and red umber,
deep orange oxides, indian yellow  and smoky transparent blacks.
Solvent is sprayed on gently to make the paint more diffuse
and give detailed drip effects in some areas.
Rags are used to expose paler golden staining from the Indian yellow.
White and naples yellow are opaque additions that immediately create
a fog like area - sometimes this gives a sense of far distance
and a blurring of any hinted-at horizon.
Below, a Bull of the Woods, with an initial improvised drawing layer
using piped black acylic from a plastic bottle with nozzle
(the type you get in haircolouring kits).
This dries very fast and it's very satisfying to rub oil paint over
and around these contour lines.
That eye keeps  recurring. Slightly unnerving...

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